Byrd-Bennett lays out 5-year CPS plan

June 11, 2013 5:38:24 AM PDT
The CEO of Chicago Public Schools has a new five-year education plan that includes more involvement from parents, mentors and communities.

It is a plan that calls for higher standards for students and more parental involvement.

The plan also includes a new CPS district score card that will provide parents with information about the performance of principals and teachers.

The Chicago Teachers Union calls the plan nothing but public relations and rhetoric.

Presented with a produced video and glossy brochure, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett unveiled a 5-year education plan to a CPS selected audience.

"Our vision is we intend for every student in every neighborhood a rigorous and well-rounded instructional program," Byrd-Bennett said.

To achieve that, the plan is divided up in five different pillars. It includes getting the entire district on the common core curriculum, more accountability for principals, teachers and everyone employed at a school. It also calls for empowering parents to make sure they get their kids to school and to educate themselves as well.

"We can engage parents and work with them by developing district supported parent university. a place where parents can learn math and literacy," said Byrd-Bennett.

In addition, she announced a plan where every adult employed by CPS would spend an hour a week mentoring a student. Sitting in Monday's audience was Barbara Radnor with DePaul University's Center for Urban Education. She applauds the new education plan.

"In the past, CPS has said, 'oh, here comes this program, ah, here's this program,'" she said. "They're saying it's not a program, it's an approach," she said.

But the Chicago Teachers Union was quick to criticize it, saying it was developed without any input from teachers.

"Frankly, it's a bunch of corporate mumbo jumbo," said CTU vice president Jesse Sharkey. "It's about kind of framing the work that's it's doing, in terms of the big plan."

The CTU says the plan is taking the attention off of CPS' huge budget problem.

Facing a $1 billion deficit, the CTU says principals are being asked to cut their budgets by 10 to 15 percent.

Monday's 5-year plan did not spell out how some of its new initiatives would be paid for.


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